Since opening in 2013, Sushi Tokami has quickly become one of the most respected and sought-after sushi restaurants in Japan. Within a year of opening, it gained a Michelin star in the 2014 guide. The restaurant is consistently one of the top 10 sushi restaurants on Tabelog, Japan’s user-reviewed restaurant site.
Sushi Tokami opened its second location in Hong Kong in 2016. This location also received a Michelin star in the 2017 guide. Chef Taga-san, who oversees the location, is from Japan and worked at several sushi establishments in Japan before moving to Hong Kong to open this new location. Because Hong Kong is not that far from Japan, this location can still source essentially the same fish as the Tokyo location.
Sushi Tokami Hong Kong is located inside the massive Harbour City Mall, specifically at Ocean Centre. Located a bit tucked in the back (look for the huge Louis Vuitton store), the small sushi bar is easy to miss (reminds me of all those times in Japan when we circled over and over looking for the entrance of a sushi-ya). This one’s not as hard to find, thankfully!
Once you enter, you really do feel like you are in Japan, with one helpful difference: the server in the kimono speaks perfect English.
During lunch, you have your choice between three omakase set menus: 12 pieces, 14 pieces, or 16 pieces. In short, if you want otoro, you need to order the 14-piece set. If you also want uni and another seasonal specialty (in our case, it was a rosy sea bass), then you must order the 16-piece. There is no option for a la carte.
If you come at dinner, there is just one set menu, which includes several appetizers as well as 12 pieces of sushi. We chose to both get the 16 piece set, which in retrospect was totally worth it.
We started with a cold “appetizer” that consisted of a block of mountain yam (nagaimo) topped with uni and set in a “soup” of seaweed jelly. It was fantastic, light and refreshing with a touch of ocean flavors from the seaweed. It reminded me of a vegetarian dish I had at Kajitsu in New York City years ago.
The rice at Sushi Tokami is a special type of grain that is mixed with rice vinegar fermented with sake yeast. This results in the signature brownish rice you see in all of Sushi Tokami’s nigiri. Pictured above: Kare (flounder), ika (squid) topped with squid ink salt, and kohada (gizzard shad – two different angles, one to specifically showcase the rice).
Sushi Tokami’s owner also owns the highly regarded tuna purveyor Yamayuki at Tsukiji Fish Market. Yamayuki provides sushi to many of the most famous sushi restaurants in Tokyo, including Sushi Sawada, Sushi Saito, and Kyubey. It’s no surprises therefore that the fish at Sushi Tokami is top notch. Pictured above: maguro (tuna) marinated in soy sauce, chutoro (medium fatty tuna), and otoro (fatty tuna).
Next was a scallop hand roll (loved the warm, slightly toasted seaweed), followed by an eggplant with a miso paste inside, kuruma ebi (prawn) and kasugodai (baby snapper).
Awoyagi (hand clam) was next, followed by shima aji (yellow jack), kinmedai (red snapper), and mirugai (geoduck).
The uni, made in the gunkan (“warship”) style was HUGE. Neverthless, the server told us we should eat it in “one bite.” My mouth is small, but I managed to fit it all in. It was a glorious bite – smooth, creamy, and sweet. Not a hint of stinkiness.
The next bite was very seasonal and turned out to be one of my favorites: akamutsu, or rosy sea bass, is a sea bass with red skin that has a fattier flesh. It was just slightly seared and tasted absolutely phenomenal. This bite alone is worth spending extra for the 16-course tasting!
Our last official “savory” piece was the anago (sea eel), which was fine but not as good as others I’ve had in Japan.
We ended with a hand roll filled with mashed up tuna neck (it was delicious).
Finally, for “dessert” we enjoyed a block of tamago (egg), which was dense and custard-like (as opposed to the more cake-like ones like Mizutani or Jiro). Finally, we completed the meal with a small cup of miso soup.
General Thoughts – Sushi Tokami Hong Kong
I really, really enjoyed the meal. This is my first time trying a Japanese sister restaurant in Hong Kong, and I must say that it’s just as good. Frankly, the moment I stepped foot into that sushi bar, I felt like I was back in Japan. The Japanese speaking chefs, the availability of all the same types of fish fresh from Tsukiji, and the same quality of sushi.
Furthermore, it wasn’t too hard to book. I called only a couple days in advance for a 12PM lunch booking on Saturday and was able to get a reservation. Our entire meal of two 16-course tasting menus, a couple glasses of beer, and three 180mL bottles of sake cost around $500 USD all in.
Sushi Tokami Hong Kong
3-27 Canton Rd,
Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong